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Custody

What Rights Do Grandparents Have in Texas?

There’s no question that grandparents can be positive influences in their grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents can provide grandchildren with love, mentoring, companionship, and support. They can develop deep bonds with grandchildren that last a lifetime, but sometimes those bonds can be endangered, especially when a grandchild’s parents divorce, when the child is removed from the parents’ home by CPS, or when the child is adopted by a stepparent.

Texas, like all other states, has established laws regarding grandparents’ visitation rights. In Texas, the laws pertaining to grandparents’ rights apply to child custody and visitation privileges.

What Are My Options?

Are you having difficulty seeing your grandchild? Has something happened and you’re afraid you won’t be able to see him or her as you did before? If you believe it would be in your and your grandchild’s best interests to get a court order to see your grandchild, you have the option to file a lawsuit asking for custody or visitation of your grandchild.

While visitation laws vary from state to state, in Texas, a grandparent can generally ask the family court for visitation privileges under the following circumstances:

  • The parent or parents neglected or abused the grandchild;
  • The parent has died, been found incompetent, or has been in jail or prison for at least three months before filing the petition;
  • The parent-child relationship has been terminated by a court order; or
  • The child has already lived with the grandparent for six or more months.

If the child has been adopted by someone who is not the child’s stepparent, then the grandparents cannot request visitation privileges. On the other hand, if your grandchild is living with you presently, you likely can ask the court for custody. If the court awards you custody, you can seek child support. Since both of the child’s parents have a legal obligation to support their children, they can both be ordered to pay the support to you.

Have legal questions about seeking custody or visitation of a grandchild? Contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC to meet with an attorney.